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John McCluhan

February 10, 1952 ~ February 14, 2019 (age 67)

John Michael McCluhan (Gio) of St. Paul, MN passed away on February 14, 2019 at the age of 67.  John was born on February 10, 1952 to Angela and Neil McCluhan in Sioux City Iowa.  He graduated from Bishop Heelan High School in 1970 where he excelled in football.  Following high school graduation, he served in the United States Air Force for four years as an MP during the Vietnam era, earning the rank of Sargent.  Upon honorable discharge from the Air Force, John attended the Police Academy and served as a police officer in Sioux City Iowa for many years.  He was involved in the K-9 unit with his beloved dog, Hesa. 

He moved to Fargo ND to own and operate Mama Lena’s restaurant, specializing in Italian cuisine.  During his years in Fargo, he was married to Shirley Liebenow, having a 15-year union.  He opened a second restaurant, Café Camarda, in partnership with his brother Rick, located in Mankato MN.  John (Gio) was well known for his delicious and authentic Italian dishes.  Later he became a certified gemologist and worked for 20 years for The Earle Company in St. Paul where he specialized in designing exclusive, custom-made, fine jewelry.   John retired from The Earle Company in 2018. 

John loved to cook and was an excellent chef, inheriting his talents from his Sicilian mother, whom he dearly loved.  He enjoyed making Italian dishes, as well as any type of unique food for family and friends. John loved to entertain, hosting family reunions, parties, and gatherings.   He also enjoyed traveling; having traveled to Italy and Sicily several times. 

John had a very kind and generous heart and will be dearly missed by his sisters, nieces, and nephews.   He is survived by his sisters Leah Pigatti (Tim), Barb Baker (Ron), Kelly Buchholz (Richard), Joan Zuhlsdorf (Glen), and sister-in-law Joni McCluhan, and former wife Shirley McCluhan; nieces Kelly Radotich and Tina Pigatti, nephews, Michael and Lawrence LaBrasca, Matt Lenius, Neil, Tony, and Joseph McCluhan, and Alex Zuhlsdorf, as well as a great niece, Lexi Radotich, and great nephews Tate Lenius, Mark Buchholz, and Teddy Welsh. John will also be affectionately remembered by everyone whose lives he touched.

John was preceded in death by his father and mother, his brother Richard McCluhan, sister Mary LaBrasca, brother-in-law Dewey Zuhlsdorf, and nephews Mark and Erich Buchholz.

Funeral services and burial will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in St. Paul on Friday, April 26, 2019, with Father John Berger officiating. 

Arrangements are being handled by the Kessler Maguire Funeral Chapel in St. Paul, MN.

 

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